War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0147 Chapter X. BATTLE OF WILSON'S CREEK, MO.

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strongly supported by artillery as well as cavalry, the latter being thoroughly experienced in scouting, and having full control over the swampy country around Sikeston.

Before leaving Bird's Point will see that all the importance points on the Illinois Central Railroad are guarded by small squads and that the gunboats watch all the crossings on the river between Commerce and Hickman. Should you, instead of moving forward, make a stand at Benton as well as at Charleston, you will throw up, without delay, earthworks to strengthen your position, and report immediately the disposition of our own forces; and also, as far as possible, from your reconnaissance and the intelligence brought by your scouts, the numbers and position of the enemy.

J. C. FREMONT,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI,

Cairo, September 3, 1861.

Colonel G. WAAGNER, Chief of Artillery, Belmont, Mo.:

The movements from Jackson having been detained, you will retain possession of Belmont until otherwise directed. The movement upon Charleston being deferred, you may make such reconnaissance as it safe, and report to me at this place.

U. S. GRANT,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI,

Cairo, Ill., September 3, 1861.

Brigadier General B. M. PRENTISS, Cape Girardeau, Mo.:

Having received from General Fremont orders for you to proceed to Saint Louis, I of course decline placing you in arrest. Having sent charges to headquarters Department of the West against you, as in duty bound, I send you a copy of them. In justice to myself I must say that in this matter I have no personal feeling, but have acted strictly from a sense of duty, and, should it be General Fremont's wish, am perfectly willing to see the charges quashed and the whole matter buried in oblivion. A sacrifice of my own feelings is no sacrifice when the good of the country calls for it.

Some of the dispatches sent here for telegraphing by one of the newspaper correspondents accompanying you were of such a character, and so detrimental to the good of the service, that I felt it my duty to suppress them.

U. S. GRANT,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI,

Cairo, Ill., September 4, 1861.

Colonel JOHN COOK, Commanding, Jackson, Mo.:

Yours just received. I have no special instructions for your command, only to keep them under restraint. Allow no marauding,